United World Project


Gen Verde. Peace as a compass

30 September 2022   |   Internazionale, Pace,

After two and a half years, the Gen Verde, the all – female international band with base at Loppiano (Italy) is back in tour, travelling over 4600 km, reaching Germany, Poland, Slovakia and Czech Republic. A long journey to build peace, through concerts and workshops.

On the 2nd of July, the Gen Verde left Loppiano with buses and trucks. Destination: The German city of Stadthagen (Lower Saxony), over 1300 kilometers further up north. Here, invited by the Lutheran Bishop Dr. Karl-Hinrich Manzke, they participated in the “Projektwoche Gerechtigkeit” (Project Week of Justice). The initiative, promoted by the Lutheran Evangelic Church, involved about 2.500 students of the Schaumburg region. For a week, the youth worked together with the representatives of different associations amongst which Sant’Egidio, Greenpeace, Amnesty International, the humanitarian organization “Bread for the World” and Diakonie. The Gen Verde participated with their “Start Now Workshop Project”, a workshop that educates to peace and dialogue.

«We did a rich experience of ecumenical dialogue, a part from the work with the youth during the workshops that went very well – narrates the Gen Verde manager, Sally McAllister (Ireland) – once again the confirmation of how much art can be an efficient and strong instrument to favour dialogue, integration and peace».

The women of the female prison of Vechta

The next stop was at Vechta, near Bremen, where the band performed in the female prison of the city. One of the most special moments of the tour, admit the artists, in which a strong sense of strong empathy was created. Many of the 70 women that find themselves there have to serve sentences of some months or years, some will stay there for their whole life. After the concert, one of them shared: «For the first time I was able to feel as though I wasn’t in prison. I didn’t feel any difference: they are like us. They have really understood us». And another one: «The stories of the songs are also my past and it is because of this that I do not feel alone in my pain. Now I know that even other people with the same stories, with the same pain, were able to find happiness once again».

To hear about other impressions, after the concert, of the women of the prison and the band, here’s a video:

We choose peace!

Peace was the common minimum denominator of the tour, the value that accompanied every concert. On the other hand, in the month May of this year the Gen Verde had launched the song “We Choose Peace”, a song that invites us to raise our voices, to say “no” to war and injustice as we are all part of the only human family. It was during this tour that they sang it for the first time. Never alone. The public, standing like a standing ovation, joined the artists during the last two concerts at Garrel and Schwerte in the German territory.

Gen Verde and the youth

Thousands of kilometers later, they were in Krakow, in Poland, where they participated in the international initiative “socioMovens”, a social youth network of central and eastern Europe that aspires to “give a soul to Europe”. Here, the “Start Now Workshop Project” involved around 100 youth coming from Ukraine, from Kazakhstan, from Poland, from Romania, from Croatia and Hungary. The same workshop was presented even in Prešov, in east Slovakia, at only 122km from the border with Ukraine. Here there were around 160 youth out of which 50 of them coming from Kyiv, Ukraine. «An unforgettable experience that we will take with us for the rest of our life! – said Alžbetka and Elishka (Slovakia), two young participants – Before coming here, were didn’t know what we were going towards. Then during the workshops, we discovered that we had a lot in common, even though we didn’t know each other or we couldn’t understand each other for the different languages. We discovered that each one of us has a small light within themselves, despite we carry even our darkness!».

The European tour concluded in Czech Republic, with “Meet Gen Verde” in the frame of the “National Youth Meeting 2022” in Hradec Králové (CSM 2022 HK), where on the 10th and the 11th of August the band met the youth of different nationalities, realizing programs and artistic workshops, besides from playing, singing and narrating some of their life experiences, along with moments of dialogue.

42 days, 4 countries, 8 cities, 4600 km travelled. Concerts, workshops and meetings. Moments that will remain printed in the hearts of the whole Gen Verde. Along with the awareness that building a world of peace, having the courage to believe, to hope, is still possible. They saw it with their eyes, touched with their hands, travelling and meeting many that, like them, live and spend themselves for a more just world for everyone.